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Producers Shake Up X-Men, Ian McKellen Out As Magneto?

If the villain’s origin story is ever made, it could be a long time down the road


While it had a much stronger outing than “X-Men 3: The Last Stand,” the first of what was supposed to be several X-Men Origins films “Wolverine” did OK box office. Because of that and other economic issues, other films in the series such as “Magneto” could be in trouble.

But even if Twentieth Century Fox does greenlight the film at some point, it almost definitely will be without the actor who played the role in the X-Men trilogy, Ian McKellen.

“I’m not sure that film is going to be made,” X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner told Empire. “The studio as a wealth of potential stories, and they have to stand back and decide which ones to make. And ‘Magneto,’ I think, is at the back of the queue.”

Since “Magneto” would be an origins story, another actor most likely would have to take on the title role since McKellen himself may look too old. Sure, special effects technology was used to “de-age” both McKellen and co-star Patrick Stewart in the third X-Men film, but that’s not really an option when it comes to “Magneto,” Donner said.

“It’s very expensive,” she said. “To do that for a two-hour movie would be prohibitive financially.”

The next film to be made in the X-Men franchise appears to be a sequel to this year’s “Wolverine,” and it could have a bit of a different take on how Hugh Jackman approaches the character in the next film.

“What’s cool about this part of the saga is that Wolverine will be fighting in a different style to what we’ve seen before,” Donner said. “Mariko’s father has this stick-like weapon, so Wolverine will have to fight against that. There’ll be samurai, ninja, katana blades, different forms of martial arts — mano-a-mano, extreme fighting.

“We’re going to come up with a new style of fighting. It’s going to be awesome.”

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